LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — A defense attorney says a Minnesota man on trial for killing two teenagers after they had broken into his home was frightened after a series of increasingly violent burglaries.
Byron Smith is on trial facing first-degree premeditated murder charges in the deaths of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile (HAY'-lee) Kifer in the small central Minnesota town on Thanksgiving Day 2012.
Defense attorney Steve Meshbesher says Smith's home had been targeted by burglars who took valuables and guns. Meshbesher highlighted one break-in about a month before the shootings in which someone kicked in a door.
He says Smith was terrified and had begun wearing a holster and pistol around the house.
Prosecutors say Smith went beyond home defense and killed the teens after they were no longer a threat.